An altercation refers to a heated argument or disagreement between two or more people that may escalate into a physical or aggressive confrontation.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Argument, dispute, quarrel, conflict, confrontation, squabble


Agreement, harmony, concord, peace, understanding

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun altercation, altercations
Verb None
Adjective None
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The altercation between the two neighbors started over a trivial matter, but it quickly escalated into a physical fight.

  • The politician’s speech sparked an altercation among the audience members who had opposing views.

  • The couple’s altercation in the restaurant caused a scene and disturbed the other patrons.

  • The football players were penalized for their altercation on the field during the game.


The word “altercation” is typically used to describe a verbal or physical argument between people. It is a noun that can be used in various contexts, such as personal relationships, business settings, or public events. The word is derived from the Latin word “altercari” which means “to dispute” or “to quarrel.” The prefix “alter-” means “other” or “different,” indicating that the parties involved in the altercation have different views or opinions on the matter.

There are several variations of the word “altercation” that are formed using prefixes, suffixes, or roots. For example, the suffix “-tion” is a common suffix used to form nouns from verbs, and it denotes the action or process of the verb. Therefore, the word “altercation” is a noun that describes the action or process of disputing or quarreling. Another variation is the word “altercative,” which is an adjective that describes a person or situation that is likely to cause an altercation.

In some cases, the word “altercation” may be used to describe a physical altercation, which refers to a violent confrontation between people. However, it is important to note that physical altercations are not acceptable and should be avoided. The word “altercation” is often used in news reports, legal proceedings, and police reports to describe incidents of verbal or physical confrontations between individuals. Overall, the word “altercation” is a useful term for describing heated arguments or disputes, and it is important to use it appropriately and responsibly.